Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) cleaned up Saturday at Sugarloaf, winning the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Champs slalom by more than four seconds over Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN). Megan McJames (Park City, UT) was third.
Giant slalom specialist Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV) threw down on bumpy snow at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships to take his third national title in a row ahead of first run leader Tommy Ford (Bend, OR). Former University of Utah racer Nick Cohee (Gardnerville, NV) – took third.
Another day, another young, rising star at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Champs. In Thursday’s giant slalom, USSA National Training Group (NTG) skier Nina O’Brien (Edwards, CO – NTG; Burke Mountain Academy) threw down the fastest time of the day to take the win. World Cup skiers Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN – U.S. Ski Team) and Megan McJames (Park City, UT – Park City Ski Ed Foundation) were second and third, respectively.
Top athletes in North America competed at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf, Maine for the title of the nation’s best super G skier. The USA's young guns took center snow. Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) triumphed in the women’s field with Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) taking third. On the men’s side, Drew Duffy (Warren, VT – Green Mountain Valley School) took the win over Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) and Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA).
The storyline of the World Cup Finals Week so far has been the dominance of the USA's Lindsey Vonn coming back from severe injuries and winning the Crystal Globe (season title) in both downhill and super-G. But, suddenly, the spotlight shifted Saturday to Mikeala Shiffrin from Eagle-Vail, Colo.
The big guns alpine ski racing are headed to Sugarloaf next week, and Easterners will be treated to a rare chance at seeing America’s top athletes on local snow as some of the biggest names in U.S. alpine racing set their sights on a national title at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships, March 25-29, 2015.
American Lindsey Vonn picked up her second Crystal Globe at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Finals in Meribel, France after winning the super-G season title, 28 points and 0.49 seconds, ahead of Austrian Anna Fenninger. Only eight points separated the speed queens entering today’s race, making it a fight to the finish.
Lindsey Vonn from Vail, Colo. began the finale of her comeback season in high style Wednesday, scoring a convincing victory and claiming her 18th career crystal globe in winning the Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill title. Vonn was flawless under the clear blue skies, skiing to a .24 second victory over Austria's Elisabeth Goergl.
The USA's Mikaela Shiffrin extended her lead from the first run to claim her third consecutive slalom win of the season Saturday at Are, Sweden. She now has a 90-point lead in the race for her third overall World Cup slalom title heading into next week’s finals in France.
Mikaela Shiffrin, 19, from Eagle-Vail, Colo., wasn't to be denied defense of her slalom title on her home turf as the FIS Alpine World Championships wind down at Beaver Creek. But, it took a burst of energy near the end of the course.
Ted Ligety made it a flawless second run in the Giant Slalom at the FIS Alpine World Championships at Beaver Creek, Colo. Friday to snag the first gold medal for the USA so far in this two-week event with only a weekend to go.
American Travis Ganong found himself sandwiched between two Swiss racers all gracing the podium for the first time at an FIS World Championship. Ganong won a silver medal on the Beaver Creek Birds of Prey course Saturday. The USA's Steve Nyman finished just off the podium by just 0.03 seconds in fourth spot.
The cold front due to hit Colorado's central Rocky Mountain Range and the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at Beaver Creek overnight came in later than forecast, giving race officials who were up on the mountain early in the morning some hope that today's race wouldn’t impacted by the weather. It was not to be.
The season long battle between America’s Lindsey Vonn and Austria’s Anna Fenniger played out at Beaver Creek Tuesday and it was Fenninger taking home the first gold medal of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in super G. Slovenia’s Tina Maze won silver and Vonn took bronze.
Steven Nyman’s ski boots were on the podium at the base of Beaver Creek just two months ago, after he pulled off a third place finish in the Audi Birds of Prey downhill. Now he’s back, and he’s carrying a payload of perpetual motion – and stoke.
After two hours of weather delays, the famed Hahnenkamm was shortened—with the fastest times coming in at under a minute. Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) was the top American downhiller on Saturday, taking fifth place—his best ever result in Kitzbuehel.
After winning both training runs, Kjetil Jansrud of Norway stepped on top of the podium again. Paris Dominik of Italy was second, just missing first place by .02 seconds, and Guillermo Fayed of France took third.
"This is a good step forward and confidence builder going into Beaver Creek," Nyman said after his downhill run. "I want to give it everything and see what I got. Hopefully I can win or get a medal. I’m stoked."
The racers could hear the 60-70,000-person crowd in the start gate and even with massive delays and falling snow, the audience was electric. The spectators lined the finish of ski racing’s Super Bowl—a right-of-passage race for so many skiers. As Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) said after the super G, “Every ski racer has two goals: an Olympic medal and a podium or a win in Kitzbuehel.”
The racers still got up to almost 80 mph, but on such a short track, there was very little room for error. Both Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) and Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) noted that, making a couple quick mistakes, which put them down in 41st and 44th, respectively.
Meanwhile at St. Moritz, Switzerland, Lauren Ross led the USA in 12th spot at the final Audi FIS Ski World Cup women’s downhill before World Championships. Alice McKennis was 22nd while a late-race error send Lindsey Vonn down to 23rd. She retained her World Cup downhill lead. Super G set for Sunday before the team heads back to America for World Championships at Vail/Beaver Creek.
Photos: Top -- USA's Travis Ganong takes the famed Streif course during Hahnenkamm weekend training runs (Mitch Gunn/USST); Below -- Crowds upwards of 70,000 make the Hahnenkamm Austria's version of the Super Bowl (Kitzbuehel)
The U.S. Ski Team has announced the addition of Brandon Dyksterhouse to its women’s technical team as part of a unique partnership with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.
After equalling the record of World Cup victories Sunday, Lindsey Vonn didn't have to wait long to break it. The American superstar mastered the super-G race Monday to earn career win number 63 surpassing Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell as the all-time leader. With bib number 22, Vonn clocked 1:27.03 down the Olympia delle Tofane course.
With a powerful run through sunshine and fog, Vail, Colorado’s Lindsey Vonn etched her name into the ski racing history book, winning her 62nd career Audi FIS Ski World Cup at the Cortina downhill by .32 over Austria's Elisabeth Goergl. The win by Vonn matched the seemingly unbeatable record of 62 World Cup wins set by Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell that had stood for 35 years.
A shortened Cortina downhill became more of a sprint course Friday, with Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.) leading the USA. Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, Calif.) was eighth and Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) tenth, having to wait again for record win number 62 in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup.